Star Trek’s former overlord Rick Berman has been taking some fan questions at the official site, opining on issues ranging from why no gays in Trek to actors almost cast (like Marlon Brando for Soran in Generations). Berman also gave his opinion about the future of the franchise. See below for excerpts and a breakdown.
Berman on the future of Star Trek – expects new TV series, but not with him
Star Trek producer Rick Berman answered some fan submitted questions at the official Star Trek site, and some of the most interesting dealt with his views on the future of the franchise he oversaw for 18 years. Here is Berman opining on what we can expect next:
I certainly think that J.J. Abrams will continue making films with the characters that he has reconceived, in a sense, from the Original Series. And I would not be surprised if he and his writers end up being involved in a new series at some point. I can’t imagine that there won’t be a new series on television. But I don’t believe that new series will be a continuation or tying up of loose ends of Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager or Enterprise.
Going on, the former Star Trek producer admits that even though he believes there will be a new series he says it is "anybody’s guess" where it might go in terms of setting (future, prequel, alternative reality, etc.). But one thing Berman does seem sure of is that he will have no part in it, saying:
I think my 18 years of Star Trek had some great highs and some definite lows, but I think it’s time for new people to come in and breathe some fresh air into whatever gets done in the future.
Brando for Soran? + more More from Berman on various issues:
More highlights from his Q&A:
- Marlon Brando expressed interested in Soran (Generations) but wanted too much money, met both Isabella Rossellini & Nastassja Kinski for Borg Queen (First Contact) those didn’t work out, hoped for "small cameo" for Tom Hanks (First Contact or Insurrection), but again didn’t work out
- Berman says he was "insulted" by online speculation on why he stopped using composer Ron Jones on Star Trek: The Next Generation, saying his reasoning was that the music was "’somewhat flamboyant" and "calling attention to itself", noting "the scene is not there to enhance the music"
- Dismisses critiques that he "killed" Kirk and Data, and says that it is only some hardcore fans that most fans are not "hypercritical"
- On canon critiques says "we did our best to stay true to it, and sometimes we didn’t succeed"
- Says the notion that he and Michael Piller stole the idea for DS9 from JM Straczynski is "amusing" because they didn’t even know who Straczynski was
- Open to the notion that Enterprise could have done better in syndication or on Fox or NBC (who had expressed interest), but that it is "all Monday morning quarterbacking"
- Says that there were many discussions about a gay character but felt that "seeing two men or two women in Ten-Forward holding hands was not really going to be an effective way of dealing with it" and it was better handled "in a more abstract science-fiction way" and dealing with same sex relationships and AIDS "metaphorically"
- Reveals that he didn’t know the original Star Trek when first hired and even by 2001 had still only seen "two-thirds to three-quarters" of it, but that he relied on people like the Okudas, David Rossi and Manny Coto to "point us in the right direction when we screwed up"
- Says if he had to do it all over again he would "pay more attention to the fans"
Malcolm McDowell as Soran in "Star Trek Generations" (1994) and Marlon Brando in "don Juan DeMarco" (1995) – Brando interested in Soran but wanted too much $$$